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The Importance of Quality of Life for the Elderly

Collaborative Post

Many people assume that life slows down when they hit retirement age. They may think that all that seniors do is watch TV, eat, sleep, and repeat.

However, that can’t be further from the truth.

While aged individuals do have more years to their name, they can live as fulfilling lives as younger folks. It’s just that they’d need more care than the rest of the population. This is especially true for seniors who face mobility issues, chronic health pains, and other debilitating life conditions.

With large strides in progress in the technological and aged care front, there’s no reason why seniors can’t enjoy their later years. One’s quality of life can make or break their life satisfaction, and it’s not hard to argue for the case of everyone’s collective satisfaction.

That said, it’s important to recognise that not all elderly individuals fit in the same box. Some seniors may feel content with just the basic necessities, but others may have more pressing needs. For those in the latter category, it might be worth deciding to check out different assisted living places to see what kind of options and services they offer.

Despite these quality of life differences, enhancing a senior’s standard of living (particularly a loved one) is not something you should overlook.

This article will get into detail about why it’s vital to consider the quality of life of the elderly. We’ll also highlight ways on how you can do it. Let’s begin!

Improves Elderly Health and Well-Being

The older you become, the more likely it is to be afflicted with health problems. Poor dietary habits and a sedentary lifestyle from decades ago could catch up to them and decrease their stamina and movement abilities, which can severely hinder them from doing day-to-day tasks.

However, there are some ways to mitigate this. Even if an elderly individual hasn’t lived a particularly healthy lifestyle up to a certain age, there’s nothing stopping them from trying to live healthily right now.

Exercising regularly (even mild ones like brisk walking), eating the right food, and getting enough sleep are all valuable habits to slow down the development of age-progressive diseases. By consistently following these positive habits, these aged individuals can enjoy the fruits of their labour and be full of energy at 70 and beyond, perhaps more so than the rest of their peers.

And when your body is in decent shape even when you’re older, you can accomplish a whole lot more things. This, as a result, will give the elderly individual more liberty to live their life on their own terms and without restrictions.

Encourages Independence

When one’s life is heavily surveilled and restricted, it can feel restrictive and dehumanising.

Even if it’s with good intentions, having someone constantly looking over your shoulder can feel like a punishment. Plus, there’s also the emotional burden to bear knowing that their loved one is utilising their precious time watching over you 24/7.

This is why families need to find a sweet compromise. While it’s important to ensure that one’s aged parents are safe, it’s also vital to give them some degree of freedom to live their lives.

One way of doing this is by enabling a senior’s independence as much as possible. If they want to do chores for you, help them to take on light ones. If they want to cook for you, you could provide them with the necessary materials and an agency to prepare the family dinner.

Independence doesn’t have to be solely restricted to the house, either. There are also a lot of activities one can do outside to maintain one’s mental health and reinvigorate their passion for life.

From attending pottery clubs to volunteering in the local community, these opportunities are abundant and more than capable for your elderly parents to pursue and enjoy their lives independently.

By granting them this freedom, you’re helping them keep that sense of purpose and enjoy their lives the way they want—all without sacrificing their well-being.

Social and Emotional Support

According to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), over one-third of people aged 45 and above reported feeling lonely all the time.

Feelings of loneliness are a major contributor to mental health problems like depression and low self-esteem in the elderly. Furthermore, pervasive loneliness can also lead to worse cognitive outcomes. Socially-isolated patients have over a 50% increased risk of having dementia compared to their less-isolated counterparts.

With all the negative outcomes surrounding loneliness, it’s important to foster inclusion among the elderly. This doesn’t only mean being in constant proximity to the elderly person. It also means emotionally connecting with them, validating their feelings, and listening to them with an understanding ear.

As people age, their social circles tend to decrease. This becomes exponentially true if the elderly person is holed up in their room all day long. As such, it’s important to dedicate a few hours a week to engaging in meaningful conversations with them or bringing them to social events.

Additionally, various senior living options are available that emphasise social engagement and emotional well-being. These facilities provide opportunities for the elderly to interact with their peers, engage in social activities, and receive emotional support, which is essential for them to combat feelings of loneliness and improve mental health to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Personalised Care and Support

Generic medical care can work at times, but it’s not as effective as addressing an individual’s root health problems and tackling them head-on. When the underlying cause of an illness is correctly identified and treated, the chances for a successful outcome significantly increase.

For instance, if your elderly parent is facing both depression and erectile dysfunction, then the usual SSRI prescription may not be as effective since the effects of the pill can contradict the other condition.

Additionally, the best family dentist in Batavia highly recommends visiting a dental professional regularly so they can check your elderly relation’s dental condition.

In case your elderly patient is struggling with multiple health conditions, it’s best to seek out customised care to ensure that their health problems are under control. Aged care facilities like Banfields Aged Care have an around-the-clock medical team that can tailor their approach according to the needs of their residents.

In getting proper care, you and your elderly loved one can find peace of mind knowing that their health is under an expert’s watchful eye. And that’s priceless!

Photo by James Besser on Unsplash

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